Found: Interactive Design at Grocery Store

~ or A Rose is a Rose is a Rose, Except When it’s Trash.

In California, we have three different ways to discard trash: landfill, compost, and recycling; there is a lot of confusion regarding what goes where. Americans are always in a hurry; so when asking people to responsibly discard their trash into the proper bin, time is of the essence.

The twin disciplines of information design and interactive design rely on fast communication. Often we use pictures or symbols to provide instruction and make it easy to interact. But pictures introduce a teensy-tiny delay in comprehension: after all, we have to convert the symbol or picture into the “thing” or concept that it represents.

Enter this unique solution: bypass all possible misinterpretations by simply posting the very objects that belong in each trashcan in a tableau above each can. Label them with the proper categories and use the same color as the respective can. Outline some of the dark objects with white lines to make them more noticeable. This elegant and deceptively simple solution teaches the user how to dispose of their trash while making them aware of how much of their personal consumption still goes in the landfill.

Copyright Aliyah Marr

Aliyah Marr is the author of Squawk! Social Media for the Solitary Bird
and Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity: The (missing) manual for your right brain


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